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Infection - The Killer by Dr. John R. Christopher
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Infection - The Killer by Dr. John R. Christopher

Encyclopedia of Common Disease, Prevention Magazine 1976 (V4-I9D)

The human body need never know sickness if proper health laws are observed. But when they are not followed, the toxic condition of the system increases, and the start of infection has begun. Over the years, as I have studied and lectured, and have written books and articles, it seems as though one of my favorite subjects is the one of "body uncleanliness." Over ninety percent of all diseases, according to some of our most prominent physicians, are caused by constipation. One of these many diseases we have is "infection," and this could never be if we had a good clean bowel and an uncontaminated blood stream.

A free running mountain stream clears itself of pollution quickly and does not suffer with the problems of stagnation.

The same principle is demonstrated in the human body. A free flowing blood stream, an uncongested bowel, and an "ease voiding of urine" are all three examples of free flowing streams in the body of man. If we encourage this condition we will assure ourselves of no stagnation (infection disease) of any kind with the resulting sluggish life.

By keeping ourselves in a clean, free flowing and an efficiently automatic cleaning condition, the stagnation problem is of no worry to us. The sluggish, poorly circulating system leaves the stagnant condition in the lymph system with toxic poisons accumulating and plugging up the flow toward the liver. If the liver is allowed to do its job properly, it is the organ that can save our lives. It is the largest gland in the body, acting like a magnet by drawing toxins and poison to it, neutralizing these poisons or toxins and turning them into a beneficial but harmless bile. The converted poison and toxins, after being transformed into bile, are now beneficial to the body by acting as a laxative. As the liver draws toxins and poisons to it, it must have the help of the lymphatic system to speed the delivery of these materials to the liver and gall bladder area.

We recite some interesting points brought to light by the staff of Prevention magazine in The Encyclopedia of Common Disease (Rodale Press, 1976):

Lymphoid tissue, which appears in the appendix, is also present in the thymus, the spleen and the tonsils. These tissues are recognized as interceptors of infectious organisms. Lymphoid tissues collect in the appendix where the number of lymph follicles reaches a peak in people between the ages of 10 and 20. After 30 there is an abrupt reduction to less than half the number of follicles, and it tapers off to only a trace after age 60. This phenomenon is also repeated in the tonsils, presumably because the body's major threats from infectious diseases occur early in life.

The tonsils, and often the adenoids too, have fallen victim to unnecessary surgery. For years swollen tonsils, and often healthy ones, have been removed for the mistaken purpose of preventing future throat infections and even colds. The operation is usually of no value.

Some years ago Dr. David C. Poskanzer of Harvard Medical School's Departments of Preventive Medicine and Neurology, suggested that appendectomies and tonsillectomies may be implicated with multiple sclerosis (M.S.), a disease of the nervous system. In an article in "The Lancet" (December 18, 1965), Dr. Poskanzer said that incidence of prior tonsillectomy was studied in a control group of 240 M.S. patients, using their spouses and their brothers and sisters closest in age for comparison study. Results showed that the patients had a "significantly higher" tonsillectomy rate than their comparison group.

When appendectomy comparisons were made between patients and their spouses, the M.S. patients had a more significant number of operations performed. Although Dr. Poskanzer said no ready explanation is available, the tendency toward increased risk of multiple sclerosis after appendectomy mainly involved more male patients.

Dr. Poskanzer suggested that some infective agent (germ or virus) originating outside the body played a role in the causation of multiple sclerosis. He believed that whatever it is, it may well be active in childhood many years before the development of the disease, and kept in dormancy by the lymphoid system which includes the tonsils, adenoids and appendix.

The body's lymphatic system, of which these organs are a part, is relatively unknown. One thing that is known about it, however, is that it plays a decisive role in the body's defense against invading organisms.

When infection attacks the lymph system--whether the "lymph glands," tonsils, adenoids, and/or appendix--this is evidence that the body has a high toxic level, and infection in these parts is our control sign to clean up the body or face more severe conditions later.

When the lymph system is showing signs of being over-loaded with toxic wastes, the intelligent thing to do is to start cleaning up this condition as soon as is possible. Beat this criminal "to the draw" by eliminating mucus-making materials (ofttimes it's hard to label some of the merchandise we eat as "food"), and use fresh fruit and vegetables, juices, and plenty of distilled water. During the "cleaning up period," it is good to use a special herbal food for the cleansing and feeding of the lymph system--a combination of mullein herb and a small part of lobelia herb (such as three parts mullein and one part lobelia). For instance, the adult dose for tonsillitis is a cup of the tea three or more times in a day, and for younger people it is a full-adult dose twelve years and up, one half dose eight to twelve years, one fourth dose four to eight years, and under that age in "careful proportion."

In addition to the oral use of the tea (infusion of one ounce of the combined herbs to a pint of boiling water, poured over the herbs, covered, and allowed to steep approximately twenty minutes), it is also to be used externally. After straining the herbal tea, soak flannel cloth (never man-made synthetic cloth) in the remaining tea and apply over the swollen gland areas (throat for tonsils, etc.). Cover the fomentation cloth with plastic to keep the moisture in. It is good to do this procedure at night and leave the fomentation on all night. Some cases take more than one application, but many see the finest results with the overnight program.

One time, after coming home from a lecture series, it was good to see the grandchildren from the family of one of our daughters, who were visiting with us. That evening one of the little granddaughters, then about seven years old, came to me crying because the glands in her throat area and behind the ears had swollen up and it was very difficult for her to swallow. I mixed up three parts of mullein and one part of lobelia, made a fomentation, and pinned it around her throat. The next morning she came downstairs, all smiles and no pain, and paid me well for my services with a big kiss.

Another glandular area that is vulnerable for infection is the breast area, especially on nursing mothers. When mastitis occurs, the pain is severe, to the point that even the pressure of cloth against the skin is very painful. During my years of practice I have been on a number of house calls for cases of mastitis. One very outstanding case was one of our daughters. She lived about eighty miles away and called us in tears to tell us of the pain she was suffering from a swollen and inflamed breast. The baby had nursed off the other side, but was still fretful and still hungry. The swollen breast was too painful to even touch, let alone letting a baby nurse from it. We could hear both mother and baby crying over the phone, so my wife, Della, and I got into the car and got to our daughter's house a little before midnight. We made up the mullein and lobelia tea, dipped the flannel in the liquid, and carefully and gently covered the swollen breast. The breast was swollen with red lines streaking through it--pain was evident, just from looking at it.

Within a short time, after the fomentation was applied, the pain eased off, and she fell asleep. Early that morning, the breast was back to normal size, pain was gone, and the baby was nursing from the very breast that had the "mastitis" only hours before!

Men have "special" glandular problems, also, for example, injured testicles, or those that have not completely descended, etc. One problem that is an unsavory one is hydrocele.

Hydrocele is an accumulation of fluid in the sac of the tunica vaginalis of the testis. In adults, the cause is unknown and the fluid is clear, slightly viscid, and contains 6-10% of solids, including proteins, salts and sometimes cholesterol. (Blakiston's New Gould Medical Dictionary, 1949 Ed.).

We have seen hydroceles cleared by using the mullein-lobelia combination as a fomentation over the penis and testicle area six nights a week until the healing comes. The tea, or capsules, or tablets, are also used as an oral aid: a cup of the tea or two or three capsules or tablets three times a day.

This formula is excellent, not only in aiding the healing in a glandular area, but also to counterattack infection in the glandular system.

Infection does not need any encouragement, especially when there is a sluggish unclean lymphatic system. A man came to my office in Olympia, Washington with an arm that was held away from the body proper because he could not bear to drop the arm down to his side. The reason for this was a painful lump in the arm pit, the lump being the size of a baseball. A red streak was also running up the length of the arm starting at a point of infection in the hand. A few days prior to this, the man had cut the palm of his hand with a chisel. He felt he could not take off time to go to the doctor, so he wrapped a rag around the wound to stop the bleeding and went on with his work. In a day or two he noticed swelling and fever in his damaged hand and, naturally, became concerned because a friend of his had had a similar experience and went to the family physician. Because the infection got so bad, his friend's arm had been amputated. The patient informed me he didn't want to lose his arm and was willing to try some other "unorthodox" procedure to clear the condition, so he came to me to see if "herbs" could save the arm.

I took him out onto the lawn in front of my office and showed him some plantain growing there. He was familiar with the plant, as he had been trying to dig it up at his home to keep this weed from taking over. I instructed him to have his wife or someone to get a number of the plants, rinse off the dirt, and bruise the plants with a mortar and pestle, a hammer, a blender or food or meat grinder, or something else, and put the bruised plantain herb, root, leaves, seed, stem and all right over the cut area. The plantain was then to be covered with gauze and bandaged to hold it in place. He was also told that as the plantain would start to dry he should continue adding the fresh bruised herb to it. The gentleman asked what else to do besides the bandaging, and we instructed him to drink some of the plantain tea, three or more cups a day. He asked if he should come to see us the next day. He was told that the procedure he had just been given, as simple as it was, was a "do-it-yourself" kit and he would heal if he followed instructions. The man left the office but was back in several days. He had come in to pay the office call and to gratefully show me a hand that was healing rapidly, with no evidence of scar. He also said that right after using the poultice, "things started to happen" rapidly. He said the excruciatingly painful and throbbing hand and arm was eased of pain within one-half hour and the red streak faded away, and the lump in the armpit started getting smaller within hours. By this time (at the time of his visit), the streak and lump were entirely gone and he had full use of the hand and arm again at work-- "good as ever," he concluded.

Over the years we have had many cases of infection that have been cleared up quickly, as in this case. Some infections come on feet, legs, and various parts of the body, but all can be handled if you use action as quickly as possible.

Plantain is an herb that cannot be gathered all the year around in areas where cold winter kills vegetation. It is good to have concentrates, tinctures and/or ointments to use in emergencies.

I remember early one morning a lady was on the phone and asked me to make a house-call, as her son, age about 10, had been stung by a wasp. His hand was swollen and he had passed out from the pain.

Before getting my bag ready to go, I stepped out onto the lawn to get some fresh plantain leaves to poultice the sting with, but it was too early in the year and the plantain had not yet "leafed out." With no fresh herb to take, I went into the office and got a small jar of plantain ointment and put in into the bag and left.

When I arrived, the boy was unconscious on the floor and his hand was swollen to nearly twice its normal size. The wasp had stung him on the top of the hand. Using a spatula I put, right over the sting area, enough plantain ointment to cover the size of about a silver dollar and about a quarter to half inch thick, placed a gauze patch over the ointment, and then with additional gauze put a bandage on the hand to hold the ointment in place.

The boy had regained consciousness and was sitting up, by the time I was ready to leave. The mother said, "Is that all you are going to do?" I told her yes, it would take care of the sting and give relief from the pain in a short time. Within the half hour, after applying the ointment, the boy said the pain was not as severe as it had been.

The next day I was told that the boy was out playing baseball that afternoon, with no discomfort, and the swelling was gone, the hand back down to its normal size.

One of the finest teachers I have ever known was a man by the name of Dr. H. Nowell, the founder of "Dominion Herbal College. Ltd.," of Vancouver, British Columbia. In the lesson manual from his school is the following story:

Dr. H. Nowell's baby two years of age, was severely stung by a hornet on the neck while away on holiday. The neck swelled so much that it caused real alarm, as no help of a professional nature was within twenty miles. The doctor's daughter, aged sixteen, remembered hearing of the healing power of plantain, gathered four leaves growing near the camp and bound them on the neck, and upon removing the bandage one hour later no trace of the trouble could be found.

He goes on in this lesson to say:

Plantain is also famous as an external application for boils, tumors, inflammation, etc. An old Herbal in our possession tells of an Indian who received a large reward from South Carolina for a remedy for rattlesnake poison, and states that the plantain was the chief part of the remedy...

This plant has been highly spoken of from early days, Dioscorides, Galen, Celsius, Pliny and other early writers speak in high terms of its virtue. It is an old remedy for the poisonous bites and stings of insects. We know of herbal practitioners who tell of reducing the swelling and completely healing an arm poisoned by bee stings, when danger of the arm being taken off was eminent, by merely poulticing the arm with the bruised leaves of plantain.

When the body is fed properly with wholesome, unprocessed foods, the bowels kept clean with regular bowel movements, the blood stream running pure with nothing clogging the procedure of delivering nourishment to the cells and carrying away unwanted waste--we have health. In this free running procedure there is no accumulation of mucus and toxic waste--therefore no chance for infection to set in.

When some folks get infection from a small cut, a sliver, or most any little injury, it means the blood stream and body as a whole is loaded with mucus and waste materials. This is the open door to invite the germs of infection into the system. Germs cannot live on healthy tissue, because germs are scavengers and can only live on filth and waste materials.

It would be a lot better for all of us to work on "the cause" by keeping the waste out of the body. This is far better than working on "the effect"--after trouble has set in. "An ounce of prevention is far better than a pound of cure."

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